By Monique Summers, RN, MSN, MPA
FACT Standards Development Manager
My name is Monique Summers and I am the FACT Standards Development Manager. I joined FACT in March 2021 and have been off and running since day one. I join the FACT team with a nursing, public health, and community health planning background. It has been a pleasure to work with the committees over the past year and I look forward to continuing the process of moving the FACT Standards forward as medical and healthcare technologies advance. As I reflect on my first year with FACT, I am amazed at all the progress that we have made.
In March 2021, we formed the Cord Blood Steering Committee and associated subcommittees to launch the review process for the eighth edition of the Standards. Launching the review of the Cord Blood Standards certainly provided a crash course in all things FACT! I have witnessed first-hand the unrelenting dedication of the committee members to ensure that the Standards reflect the highest level of quality practice in the field of cord blood collection and banking.
Once the work reviewing the Cord Blood Standards was well on its way, I joined the team to finalize the eighth edition HCT Standards for publication. I was able to learn (and sometimes re-learn) the intricate process of preparing a set of Standards for publication. The importance of each department at FACT, including Accreditation, Education, and Compliance, was revealed. The importance of the relationship between FACT and JACIE was also an important concept to learn early and I thank my new colleagues across the pond for your assistance. Every team member stepped up to help guide me through the process to end with a quality set of Standards-related documents. Hundreds of written copies were distributed worldwide, and many more programs have downloaded a free copy from the FACT or JACIE websites.
Following the excitement of publishing the HCT Standards, it was time to refocus on the IEC Standards. The IEC Standards Committee paused its work in response to public comments requesting additional information regarding Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TILs), seeking to invite additional expertise in TIL therapies to the Standards Committee. We added three physicians to help us incorporate concepts important to the process of collecting and manufacturing tissues for these important therapies. The work from this group is underway with plans to publish the second edition in early 2023.
Last September, the public was given the opportunity to submit comments on the third edition of Common Standards. I joined the process following receipt of those comments and worked with the Steering Committee to finalize the Common Standards. We are actively working to prepare this document for final publication with an anticipated release date in August 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that healthcare is approached all around the world. FACT has not been immune. We have thrived using the virtual meeting process to continue to meet the needs of our accredited programs while working to improve the Standards. We have learned together via our online workshops and boot camps. When possible, we have gathered in person, including during the recent ISCT Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California. I look forward to continuing to work and learn with each of you in the upcoming years. If you ever have any questions or if I can be of assistance in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.